Recent entries

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #1201 Copy

    Questioner

    So when you were in Houston about a month ago, was it for research for future issues of Skyward?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep. And I needed some help on certain things. It was super helpful, particularly going in and talking to the pilots. Like, astronaut, very cool. But talking to them about in-atmosphere flying and things like that was really handy.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #1202 Copy

    Questioner

    Did you know Hurl's fate before you started writing it all?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I built that all out in the outline... I needed somebody who was the image of Spensa who went the wrong way, as kind of like a model for what she would see herself in. And part of the inspiration for Skyward is Top Gun, which has that as a major theme. So it was a very natural sort of thing to weave into the story as I was going.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #1205 Copy

    Questioner

    Why did [Alcatraz] set the kitchen on fire?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He didn't intend to. It just kind of happened. That sort of thing just kind of happens sometimes. It's based off of my cousin, who accidentally set the kitchen on fire making a burrito. He started his kitchen on fire because of a flaming burrito. Be careful about-- when you're cooking your burritos.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #1206 Copy

    Questioner

    Why didn't Spensa just go home to get food, instead of just having to hunt?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, there's a couple of reasons. Number one, she's kind of independent and strong-headed, and doesn't want to admit that she can't do it. And number two, she needed that time to work on M-Bot. If she were going down and coming back up, she wouldn't have the time. But she would set snares for rats, which she could check in the off-time, which meant that it saved her a lot of time eating only rats.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #1208 Copy

    Questioner

    A lot of filmmakers and authors that have ended up producing not-great work, a lot of times, they'll cite the publishing house, they'll cite the studios, things like that, and they pressure that they get to release earlier than they initially wanted to. How have you managed that relationship with your publishers to effectively make sure that all of your books have met at least your criteria for excellence? And certainly your fans seem to enjoy them. How do you work that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is a balancing, because there is a business side to this. Writers don't get as much push as filmmakers do, because no one has invested $200 million into me making a book, right? And recently, I have moved my contracts away from advances and more to kind of just being a cooperative publishing deal with the publisher, kind of with the understanding that they don't get to give me deadlines. I write the book and I turn it in. And I'm able to do this because they trust me to actually write the books and turn them in.

    And so, it is a balancing act, though, in a different way. I've never really felt pressure from the publisher. But at the same time, there's that famous quote, "Art is never finished; it's only ever abandoned." You can always do another revision. And where to stop your revision is something that I think each author kind of has to come to terms with. Because if the book were released a year later, it would be a different book. It may not be better; it might be better. It may just be different. So learning to balance that, to know when you're done with revisions and things like this, I think is certainly a part of it. It isn't a big problem for me.

    Words of Radiance is the closest it came to being a problem. Because we had the publication date set, and then the revisions just took longer than we expected. And my core assistant, who was doing copyedits, was spending way too long on those copyedits. We've tried to learn to balance that. But it's something that authors have to learn to balance, so good question. I'm not sure I have a straight answer for you on it, though.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #1209 Copy

    Questioner

    When writing, do you ever encounter a problem where you're building a world or writing a book is very similar to other things going on in popular culture, something like that? How do you build your world to be different from those, so it doesn't feel similar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Artists and writers are more afraid, in my experience, of being thought derivative than they generally should be. A lot of times what you'll see is, people who have a similar sort of background and are reading the same sort of things will start to create things that are similar. There's a reason Brent Weeks and I both released color-based magic system books within a year of each other. And it's not because we were talking; we didn't even know each other then. But we both grew up reading the same sort of things and were exploring magic in the same ways.

    I don't think you need to stress this nearly as much as you do. At least as much as you probably do. My experience has been that the only thing that's really gonna be original about your story is you. And you are going to add things to this story. Look at the number of people who have told Beauty and the Beast in different ways. Or Cinderella. We had a Cinderella book become one of the biggest books of the year just a few years back, in Cinder. You are going to be able to add things. If you have early readers say, "This feels derivative." You can always change that, or you can always write something else. Don't stress it. Write the book you want to write, and train yourself to be a writer, and it really isn't gonna be as big a problem as you might think it is. It wouldn't matter, for instance, if you released a book the same year as Mistborn that had a metal-based magic system. Like, X-Men has a character with a metal-based magic, and it was the biggest movie of the year a couple a years before Mistborn came out, and people don't read Mistborn and be like, "Wow, that's just Magneto, only lamer." *laughter* Thankfully, they don't say that. So, don't worry about this as much as you might.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #1210 Copy

    Questioner

    I could be completely wrong, but I believe a skill is something that you pick up after years of being beaten in a school system, and talent is something that you're born with. If you've ever been out on a karaoke night, you know the difference between a skill and a talent. Is writing a skill or a talent?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What a wonderful question! ...I think writing draws on both. And I think writers need both. And to explain the difference, the skill of writing is learning plot structures. Learning how different plots play out. Learning what types of words to use in what situations. But the art of writing, the talent of writing, comes in bringing it all together to something that is somehow bigger than the sum of its parts. And figuring out that balance, and how to take something that you've constructed out of pieces that you've learned and turn it into something that is a little more magical (no pun intended) is the art of writing, and that's the part that I can't explain. I can teach you the skill of writing, and I can teach you maybe to train yourself to express the art. But at the end, the talent is something that can't be defined.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #1211 Copy

    Questioner

    I read on your website that, to come to your class, you have to submit a manuscript or something, that you read. Has anybody in your classes published works that you would recommend?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The way my class works-- By the way, if you can't take the class, which is kind of hard to do since it's in Provo, Utah. I do record my lectures periodically. There's three years of them online. I don't record it every year, but every three years or so I record the lectures and just post them on YouTube. A lot of my students have gone on to write books I would recommend.

    Let's see if I can name a few. Jed and the Junkyard War. Which is a really cool middle grade about a kid who goes to a world that's completely a junkyard, and everyone scavenges out of that. It has some really good worldbuilding. That's a good book. Like I said, middle grade targeted, so if you know someone who's, like, eleven or twelve and they want a good one book, that one's great. Charlie [Holmberg] writes great books. I just read Chris Husberg's new book. If you like the epic fantasy stuff, he does a very good job with epic fantasy that deals with religion and politics and things like that. I'm sure I'm forgetting somebody. There are a lot of students who go on to publish things. Janci [Patterson] ...writes teen books with a lot of emotion and problems and messed up lives, trying to sort out messed up lives, short books, and they are fantastic.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #1212 Copy

    Questioner

    A question in general with your writing process. Do you learn a lot from your students that have gone on to become authors in their own right? Do you come back looking at their works and maybe saying "I can incorporate this kind of style into my writing?"

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say I tend to learn more from the writers who were with me when I was breaking in who are around my age, 'cause we're all kind of going through the same things. So people like Dan Wells or Mary Robinette Kowal that are kind of my group that broke in around the same time, I try to talk to them a lot about writing. This is where my writing podcast came from, Writing Excuses. It was me just wanting to ask them how they fix thing, how they deal with this thing, how they deal with that. Certainly, some of my students have gone on to do really great stuff that is inspiring. Brian McClellan's Powder Mage books are great. Charlie Holmberg, who writes the Paper Magician, the Glass Magician books are great. Lot of really great writers. I don't know how much credit I can take from them. But I am inspired a lot by a lot of the books that I read. But I wouldn't say that group specifically. Though working with new writers is kind of inspiring in its own way. Less about the things they're writing, and more just remembering what it was like, and the passion you have when you're a brand new writer. That kind of fresh-faced innocence is handy for someone, the longer you go.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #1213 Copy

    Questioner

    You were saying you were a professor? So it sounds like your writing process, that's a full-time job. Is it your full-time job, or has--

    Brandon Sanderson

    How do I balance all of these things? I am the least amount a professor a person can be and still claim the title. I teach one class one semester a year that is an evening class for three hours. I gave up all the other classes that I taught, once the writing took off. And it's really quite helpful for me to have that one night a week where I just go out and work with new writers. Because I think if you don't do that, if you don't see what new writers are doing, and things like this, then it's too easy to get crusted over in your little sanctuary and not pay attention to the outside world. But the professor part of Professor Sanderson has become very much less professorial over the years. Writing is my full-time job, and has been since I went full-time in, like, 2006 or so. So I really only had two years or so being a real professor before I became a fake one. But they still call me one, they claim me.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1217 Copy

    Jofwu

    Who or what is Vorinism named after?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can't remember. I named it twenty years ago, now. In-world, it is named for somebody. The early influential writer who put the whole thing together. But that's the new continuity, because the old continuity, it was kind of put together by the Heralds.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1220 Copy

    Questioner

    Is it cold enough on Roshar for snow?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Only in the mountains.

    Questioner

    Do you get a highsnowstorm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the mountains, yes, it's very weird. And it's only in the tops of the mountains. There is. But you will see this when and if we visit the Horneater Peaks, which are covered in snow, except for the hot springs.

    Questioner

    Are there snowspren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1221 Copy

    Questioner

    For Jerkface... Was he supposed to stay a jerk, or did you want him to...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I planned out his arc. I tried very hard to evoke Malfoy, Crabbe, and... Goyle. I tried very hard to evoke that, and then try to pull the rug out from underneath that. Whether I was successful or not, depends on your interpretation, but he was always supposed to be.

    And the real fun and twist to this book is, Spensa's kind of the bully, but she presents him as the bully. And hopefully, as you read, you're like, "Wait a minute..."

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1222 Copy

    Questioner

    Have your ever thought about how your magic systems would affect a pregnant woman?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have given thought to it.

    Questioner

    ...Which system would you say would be safest as a pregnant woman?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think Stormlight-- being Invested with Stormlight would be very safe. You would probably be better off than not. Hemalurgy would be very bad.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1223 Copy

    Questioner

    I'm writing a fantasy book that's like D&D. Do you have any advice for me? I'm about 6000 words.

    Brandon Sanderson

    A lot of great science fiction and fantasy have come from roleplaying campaigns. Not just Dragonlance, but also the Malazan Book of the Fallen started as a roleplaying campaign. And you will find this happens time and time again. Do understand that the things that you guys experience in your roleplaying session that are really funny are probably not going to be funny on the page, because they're funny in the situation, so you have to work on making the characters all work on the page, not as they work in your-- together. Make sure everyone's on board for you lifting and borrowing the stuff for your story. And make sure you don't use any of the Wizards of the Coast trademark things. For instance, you can't use Beholder. That's a trademark thing. But you can use zombies, because zombies are in everything. So learn the difference there.

    But just have fun with it. Your job right now, as a newer writer, is just to write and practice. And that practice will teach you how you want to approach your stories as you move forward. And the more you you do it, the better you'll get at it. And the more you'll know what you need in order to make it better. And that can start from anywhere. That can start from a D&D campaign. That can start from a silly song lyric you hear. It can start from fanfic. It doesn't matter where it starts. The chore you have is to practice it and learn what works on the page, as opposed to what works in person.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1224 Copy

    Questioner

    When you started writing for Wheel of Time, did you find that any of your opinions changed when you wrote the characters, versus--

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, Mat was way harder than I expected him to be to write. I thought Mat would just zip out and be super easy, and I was taken by surprise by how difficult Mat was to write.

    Cadsuane had always been my least favorite character, and I was surprised by how much I understood her when I had to stand in her shoes.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1225 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there any connection or coincidence to the Krell in Skyward, versus the Krell from Forbidden Planet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes... Forbidden Planet is one of my favorite movies. Perhaps my favorite classic science fiction movie. I really dig any sort of Shakespearean interpretation in another medium. So I named the Krell after the Krell from Forbidden Planet.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1226 Copy

    Questioner

    What do you wish that you could have asked your favorite writers about writing when you first became a writer? And what do you think they would have said?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This one is easy. I would have said, "How do you finish your book, Mr. Jordan? Specifically: X, Y, and Z that you didn't put in the notes."

    Otherwise-- You know, a lot of the things that you do as a writer aren't about what you ask other writers. And a lot of the advice you'll get as a writer won't work for you until you have written. So I wouldn't have known the right questions to ask them until I was struggling through that myself.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1227 Copy

    Questioner

    Previously, you told me that Hoid loves bacon. Is there any other thing that you can tell me about Hoid that we won't be able to RAFO?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh man, I'm running out of stuff to tell you about Hoid that I can't RAFO because I get asked this enough that I forget what I've told people and what I haven't. I'm particularly fond of his monologue for the fourth book. So, be looking forward to that. It's a little different than the others.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1228 Copy

    Questioner

    In Skyward, what is your callsign? And what was the process for creating so many callsigns?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My callsign is Mr. Prolific. That probably wouldn't work as a good callsign, but it was my callsign way back when I was in my writing group, my first writing group with my friends.

    The process was, actually, I wanted to pick a callsign that used the same sound as their real name, to help people keep them straight. Because you basically have a double number of names in the book. So same letter or same sound, creating it. And I just started with that letter or sound. And then I wanted them each to feel distinctive. If they're all, like, initials. Or they're all one-syllable names, it can be really easy to mix them up. So I wanted some that were two or three syllables. Some that, they wanted to reinforce who the character was sometimes, things like that. That's where I went on that.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1229 Copy

    Questioner

    In Alcatraz, he mentions a souvenir about a bullet that can pierce steel. Was that nod to Reckoners?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that's a nod to Reckoners. There's lots of them. If you read the Alcatraz books, there's an Asomedean joke, there's a Spook's street slang joke. The Alcatraz books, if you haven't read them, are kind of me practicing my improv skills as a writer. Every writer, I think, needs to have some measure of ability to outline, and some measure of ability to just "pants it," as we say. And the Alcatraz books, I write completely pantsed. I give myself a list of things that need to be in the book, and I try to work those in as I go. And that ends up with a lot of me making jokes about myself and my process.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1230 Copy

    Questioner

    Which character arc has been your favorite to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I usually don't pick favorites. Because all characters in all the books are like my children. But I will say it was extraordinarily satisfying to write Rand's arc, that I did in Gathering Storm. That was a true delight as a long-time fan of the series. So probably that one.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #1232 Copy

    Questioner

    What is your philosophy on prologues? You do a lot of them.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do a lot of them. I don't think they're necessary. I'm fond of them. Usually, if you can find a way to not do one, your story will probably be stronger. But they do let you do something like, for instance, if you know that the later tone of your story is not going to match the early tone of your story, you can hint what the tone is actually going to be in the prologue, which is really handy. And there are other things you can do. You can start with a bang with a prologue in a way that maybe sometimes you wouldn't be able to do if you were going right into the main story. There's things that I like about them. But I do think that they become a crutch to some writers, and that might include me.

    Questioner

    Do you have a recommended length in terms of how long it should be? ...Or maybe how long it should not be? What would be the max for a prologue?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, Robert Jordan's kind of became books unto themselves, and that worked for him. But when you're getting that long, you might be-- Short and sweet is probably your best. One of the best prologues ever written is the prologue to Eye of the World, Robert Jordan. But there's no real-- Just try to avoid the classic '80s one where it's like, "Prologue is all the worldbuilding dump that I couldn't fit in to the first chapters."

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #1234 Copy

    Questioner

    A question about Jasnah and your relation to Jasnah. She's a Veristitalian... Is that a part of Jasnah that is you, or is that a part of Jasnah that's somebody else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The fascination with history and trying to use it to change the present is me. And that is the part of Jasnah that I-- Also, by nature, I'm kind of a Slytherin. And so would Jasnah. That part of me is there. The "do-gooder Slytherin," if that's not an oxymoron.

    Questioner

    And does the word Veristitalian come from "veritas"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. So, in their language, it would not actually be Veristitalian. What I do is, my books, I pretend they're in translation. So when Wit makes a pun, or when you see something that echoes Latin or Greek, the idea is that they are echoing in-world ancient languages that we have chosen, instead of transliterating, to actually translate so it gives the right feeling in English.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #1237 Copy

    Questioner

    I've been thinking about Idealism as a philosophy and how the concept of the... Cognitive Realm is sort of like a very realistic version of Idealism. Is there any influence there at all?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, definitely. I was a closet philosophy major in college. I didn't actually do that, but I attended a lot of philosophy classes. And I'll tell you this, philosophers don't know to write. That's the most annoying part. You read their essays, and they're full of brilliant ideas, with these enormous run-on sentences that make no sense. You have to like-- So I got really frustrated by that. But I really loved the classes and reading and things like that, and the touch of it is all over my books. If you look for it, you'll find a lot of the different philosophies, you'll find all those guys in different places on different philosophers and different religions and stuff like that.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #1238 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you ever feel like, as the author of these stories, you are basically the God of these books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. It feels-- Honestly, I would look at it more-- The better way I feel is more like the historian. I've constructed the story in the outline, and now as the historian I'm writing it out and recording it. Because it's already kind of happened to me as the outline doing it. So I feel more like that. Like, I'm gonna do what the story demands. I'm not sitting there playing God, like, "I'm doing this to you!" I'm like, "This is what the right story is, and I'm going to write it."

    Questioner

    When you have to make changes, do you ever feel like you're betraying something in your story, when you have to make a change that maybe you weren't planning on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it's the other way around. I never have made a change I haven't been comfortable with. It's only if I feel a story's gonna be stronger and it's better for the characters. A revision is more like an exploration of "Something was wrong in this, I did it wrong the first way. I'm gonna try to nudge it toward the way it should be." And when I can't do that, that's when I have to pull the book, because I can't figure out what it should be, if that makes any sense. It's kind of nebulous. But I'm trying to get it closer and closer to the perfect version of the story I'm trying to tell.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #1240 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Vasher Zahel or is Zahel Vasher?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So Vasher is the name he had in Way of Kings Prime, the one I just read from, before I wrote Warbreaker.

    Questioner

    That's my question. What's the real chronology?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...Yeah, Warbreaker's first.

    Questioner

    Because he named him, did he not?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, the name, Vasher. Of course, he had a different name before that.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #1241 Copy

    Questioner

    If a thing that is Invested under one Shard, you transfer it to another. Does the method of continuing empowerment of  the Investiture change to the source of that other Shard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Naturally, no. It may do so.

    Questioner

    The only reason I ask is because Nightblood doesn't seem to behave different.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, Nightblood does not require, but will instead accept gleefully anything you give it. But for instance, if you took a Soulstamp to another planet and somehow made it work, it wouldn't necessarily draw on the power of that Shard to work. Granted, it's really hard to make a Soulstamp work. Here's another example. You go on another planet. Hoid is using Allomancy on Roshar. That is not using the power of Honor or Cultivation. It is still drawing on the power of, in that case, Harmony.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #1242 Copy

    Questioner

    When Jasnah takes Shallan on as a ward, she teaches her a strategy for research. Is that strategy you use when you are doing research?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. It's a strategy like the one they tried to teach me in college, and I was never good at.

    Questioner

    So you used it as a-- You used it intentionally because of?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not that I don't like it. My brain doesn't work the way that note-taking methodology worked. I know it worked for some people, and probably if I had spent more time on it, then I would have. But I work in a different way.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #1243 Copy

    Questioner

    In terms of redemption arcs. In terms of Moash. Will he be able to redeem himself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I won't say no, because I think you have to go really, really far in order to not be redeemed. But at the same time-- Let's just say if Dalinar got redeemed, Moash has gotta go further than Dalinar. At the same time, he is certainly not looking for that.

    Questioner

    But neither did Dalinar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    But neither did Dalinar.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #1248 Copy

    Questioner

    I'm a new teacher; my students are really quick to jump on me when I make mistakes. I was wondering if there's any inconsistencies or characters or any of the aspects of the magic systems you made that you could go back--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Absolutely. Every book. Every book, there are things that I would want to change. And it ranges-- there's a huge gamut of different things.

    For instance, in the White Sand books, my first book that I wrote, that we eventually turned into graphic novels. I had a really cool magic system that was about manipulating sand with your mind, and things like this. And then I added in a weird thing where you could transform sand into water for no good reason whatsoever. It doesn't match the rest of the magic system. Because I wanted to write myself out of a hole. And as a newer writer, I did that a lot more. It ended up kind of getting canonized, and when we went back, I didn't fix it that fast, and so it ended up in the first graphic novel, and I'm like, "We need to fix this." So, the third graphic novel-- we've given ourselves enough wiggle room, fortunately, that I can be like, "And that's not what people thought it was." Because I want it to be more consistent. So you get that third graphic novel, and you're like, "Wow, they can't do this anymore?" No one ever did it onscreen, so they were just wrong. 'Cause that totally just does not belong in that magic system.

    The Mistborn books, the original trilogy, I worked very hard to make sure I had an interesting, tough, but also compelling female protagonist. But then I defaulted to guys for the rest of the crew. And this is-- If you want to write a story about that, doing it intentionally, that's a different conversation entirely. But when you just kind of do it accidentally, like, I did, I look back and I'm like, "Mmm, I didn't really want to do that". But I did anyway, because of just the way that every story I'd seen I was defaulting to (like Ocean's Eleven, and things like this), where my models were, and I didn't take enough time to think about it, where I think it would have actually been a better story if I would have thought a little bit more about that. Like, there are things like that all across the board.

    I did get into a little-- trouble's the wrong term. But in Words of Radiance, I reverted it-- from the paperback, when it came out, I reverted to a previous version that I had written for part of the ending. And that caused all kinds of confusion among the fans, what is canon? And so I'm like, "Oh, I can't do that anymore." But I had gone back and forth on how a part of the ending was to play out. A pretty small element, but a part of the ending. And I had settled on one. And then immediately, as soon as we pushed print, felt that it was the wrong one. But you just gotta go with it.

    I don't know. I don't think there's a strict answer on how much you can change, and how much you can't. Grandpa Tolkien went back and changed The Hobbit so it would match Lord of the Rings. And I think I'm glad he did. Even if I would have been annoyed if I'd had the first version that doesn't have the connection. When I read it, it had the connection, and it was so much cooler. I don't know if I have answers on that. But every book, there is something I would want to change.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #1249 Copy

    Questioner

    I wanna write books, too... One thing that really drags me down is that I'm afraid that my book is gonna be too short. Do you have any tips for beefing up your story?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, if you add paragraphs about the architecture, *laughter* and where the clothing comes from--

    Number one way to add length to a book without making it feel irrelevant is to start adding viewpoints form other characters who have a different take on what's happening in the story, and by naturally adding in some of those viewpoints and giving them their own arcs, you will lengthen the story in a way that feels natural. It will start to edge it into a different genre. The more of those you add, the more it's going to feel like a different style of story, either a historical epic or an epic fantasy or things like that, so you do want to be careful with it. But if you get done and your story's 50,000 words, and you want it to be 80,000 words, that can be a really good way to do it.

    But honestly, I wouldn't stress about this too much. There are fantastic books that are 50,000 or 60,000 words long that get published. I don't know how long the new Stephen King one is, but it's like 180 pages. So it's probably, like, 40,000 or 50,000 words. Like, A Christmas Carol is what, 30,000, or something like that? Write the book; practice at the length you are comfortable in. And if it's consistently a problem that things actually end up too short, then start asking about, "Can I add subplots? Can I add other characters to give a different perspective on this?" But I wouldn't stress it too much at the beginning.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #1250 Copy

    Questioner

    Will we ever see that thousand page Way of Kings Prime?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Way of Kings Prime is the book that I wrote that-- (I will actually read to you a little bit from it today. That's my reading, is from this book.) Eventually, I will just release the whole thing. Warning! It falls apart, and I actually did a little trim of the scene I'm gonna read to you today, because I was really into describing worldbuilding elements back then. You can watch the video from yesterday, where I read it before editing it, and there's like two paragraphs about the architecture. And then there's another two paragraphs about where they got the cloth for the clothing, and things like this.

    I will eventually release it. Right now, it still has spoilers for things that happen in the series, and so I don't want to release it quite yet. But we're getting close to the place where I can release it, where all the spoilery things have happened in the main series, that are going to happen.